• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far did the First World War transform key areas of social and economic life in Britain?

Extracts from this document...


PART B How far did the First World War transform key areas of social and economic life in Britain? As well as the high death toll Britain had economic and social problems. Economic changes due to the First World War helped diminish the role of Britain in international trade. Britain also begun to grow heavily in debt, due to the payments of the war. To help pay these debts Britain sold off foreign assets and borrowed heavily both at home and abroad. The increased size of national debt had an inflationary effect in Britain. The problems of wartime finance forced Britain off the gold standard, under which the value of the pound had been linked to gold. The distortion of the economy meant that the war stimulated industries such as engineering, chemicals and shipbuilding, which had a direct relevance to the needs of the armed forces, unlike other industries such as textiles. Disruption of the export trade was a problem for Britain during the war as staple industries relied heavily on exporting, but due to the war their old markets such as Russia, the Far East and elsewhere was closed to them. ...read more.


In 1918, women over the age of 30 were given the right to vote and in 1928, this was changed so that all women had equal political rights with men. As women started working many things changed for them. Women started doing all the things that men might have done, go to pubs, restaurants, dances and theatre. Hair and skirts got shorter as a result of factory work, however these things were seen to make working harder. As women took over the running of the country many other things changed. Women were allowed into the police force and they had their very own police service. This service would supervise goings on at music halls, cinemas, railway stations and parks. With all the demands of working in factories fashion changed to co-inside with the type of work they would be doing. Long skirts would have got in the way so they were shortened and as the war finished this was restored. The petticoat was lost and hats were made smaller. Throughout the war the government, as a way to get men to conscript, used women. Women were encouraged to have nothing to do with men who didn't do their 'duty', but instead encourage those who did. ...read more.


Soon the government controled the whole of the economy. The first world war saw the expansion of the empire to its maximum territorial extent, as territory was taken from the german and turkish empires and added to the british. The war affected the psychology of the whole nation in some degree, the combatants most of all but also their families at home. I deas about war began to change. It brough a more realistic view to the British people about what modern warfare involved. The war also created a term called ' the lost generation' this applied to the people who perished in the war but to those who were permanetly aliented and disoriented by it. Many things changed because of the war either for better or for worse, many things had to change for a chance of success. Britain engaged its resources sensibly but was still stretched to find enough of everything to win. Women played a major role in the war effort and their help back home was just as important as those on the front line. Clearly 1914-1918 saw momentous economic changes. The economy was radically reoriented for the efficient prosecution of the war: there could, therefore, be no easy or quick return to satisfy peacetime needs. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Assess in general terms the economic, social and political impact of the First World ...

    It served no purpose as issues such as grief and death took precedence. The First World War was also the catalyst that brought about the rise of communism. Russia's failure in the war handed the Bolsheviks a chance to seize power.

  2. Women and social change - To what extent did World War One effect womens ...

    The boar war was a total war distinctly different from regional or local wars and was on a scale larger than any before it. Advanced european societys could not support a long war unchanged. The First World War left no aspect of European civilization untouched as The war metamorphed Europe socially, politicaly, economically, and intellectualy.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    Hobeika's men to hold out for a few hours to enable a Syrian army battalion to come to their rescue, however a retreat was already underway. Lebanese Army had by then deployed commandos throughout Ashrafieh and closed off the escape roots.

  2. After the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the world ...

    factor but can hardly be the major factor, especially that we are living in a world that is highly interdependent. Alongside the fact that theories came out trying to speculate how the New World Order would take shape, analyses of the nature of the conflicts that would surface in this new world structure were also noticeable.

  1. Britain and the First World War

    The British Government relied heavily on advertisements like this to draw in recruits for the army. It was essential to portray the war in a positive light so people would join up and the battle against the Hun could continue.

  2. In What Ways Did The First World War Affect The Lives Of People At ...

    into bars, restaurants and anywhere that they wanted without fear of being punished. The Military Service Act was a major turning point in the war for everyone whether male or female, child or elder it really did not matter. All that matters is that everyone had to go into total

  1. How did the War change life in Britain?

    To outflank the French defences, German armies struck west through neutral Belgium. Britain was bound by treaty to come to Belgium's aid if she were attacked. Britain's ultimatum to Germany to withdraw was ignored, and on 4th August Britain joined the rest of Europe in war.

  2. The First World War

    There were several reasons why stalemate developed on the western front. These can be summarised as a combination of new weapons technology, improvements in transport and communications and the development of better supplies. The new weapons technology included the Lee- Enfield .303 British rifle.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work